Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Monday sympathised with the ordinary police constable, saying he is the 'most abused' part of the force and the 'most reviled public servant'.
Chidambaram also said that India, which is facing serious terror and Naxal threats, has an ill-equipped police machinery, especially at its lower ranks.
"The police system is outdated. Police are ill-trained, ill-equipped and ill-paid," said Chidambaram, talking about the challenges to internal security.
The minister further said the police constable, "who works for 12 to 14 hours a day throughout the year is the most abused" part of the machinery.
"Everyone believes that he (constable) can be bullied, or cajoled or bribed... he is the most reviled public servant," Chidambaram said while delivering the fourth Nani Palkhiwala Memorial lecture in Mumbai.
"Self-esteem of the average policeman is very low," he said. "And this average police constable is a frontline force for the internal security," he stated, adding that when the occasion demands, "he rises to great heights".
Chidambaram paid tribute to Tukaram Ombale, a Mumbai police constable who was killed during the terror attack on Mumbai, while trying to capture Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab alive.
Saying that the constable lives in a "very different cultural milieu and brings his culture to the workplace", Chidambaram remarked that there was a very "feeble attempt to improve his behaviour or attitude".